Taking Wrongs Seriously: Apologies and Reconciliation by Elazar Barkan, Alexander Karn

By Elazar Barkan, Alexander Karn

Because the finish of the chilly battle, and especially over the last fifteen years, the human have to amend immoral wrongs has been expressed in political discourse as a propensity to ask for forgiveness for acts of earlier injustice. Can apology, by means of bringing closure to conflicts and by means of beginning new chances for communique and mutual figuring out, domesticate reconciliation and ameliorate the current? Taking Wrongs heavily examines the more and more powerful position of apology as a social strength. members discover in a comparative and interdisciplinary framework the function and function—as good because the limitations—that apology has in selling discussion, tolerance, and cooperation among teams confronting each other over previous injustices. Fourteen essays draw on quite a few disciplines—including historical past, diplomacy, transition reports, sociology, criminal experiences, psychology, and religion—to discover the true and symbolic transactions that lie on the middle of apology. there's no comparable introductory textual content in this topic that comes with a number of disciplinary views in addition to any such extensive geographical and old spectrum of case stories.

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Extra resources for Taking Wrongs Seriously: Apologies and Reconciliation (Cultural Sitings)

Sample text

Nevertheless, a pope has done so on behalf of the Church, and Japanese statesmen have expressed sorrow for their national atrocities during World War II. ) In late 2002, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi went to North Korea to apologize for Japan’s thirty-five-year colonization of the Korean peninsula. ) Thus, where there is the possibility of diplomatic or economic gain, where new evidence has emerged to embarrass a nation-state or a government, or where a 34 Apology, Truth Commissions, and Intrastate Conflict leader has a domestic political need, apologizing often proves graceful, comparatively easy, necessary, and forward-looking.

13. With respect to Japan, Ruth Benedict has developed an interesting dichotomy between shame (Japanese) and guilt (Western); however, this distinction may be overstated in light of the numerous public displays of remorse that have arisen there. See Barkan, The Guilt of Nations, p. 63. 14. The apology trend accelerates at this time, thanks in large part to the sudden end of the Cold War. The emphasis on morality in international and intergroup relations, however, dates back even further to the Nuremberg (1945–1946) and Eichmann (1961) trials and, in particular, to the reparations settlement (1952), which provided aid to individual Holocaust survivors and the state of Israel via the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

28 Despite its poetic and emotional appeal, however, the grassroots response to Gover’s apology was mixed. 29 For Marshall, a Native person simply cannot apologize for offenses committed against the Native tribes. Not only was the apology “hollow,” but it was also offensive, because it was not accompanied by substantive action to remedy the injustices that it cited. 30 The survival of American Indian culture may well depend on the conscience of ordinary Americans and their insistence that the federal government be held accountable for its past actions and policies.

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